Olympic coaches open gymnastics facility in Jax


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of the most watched sports of the Olympics is gymnastics. And gymnasts at a brand new facility in Jacksonville will be watching closely.

Their coach trained many athletes on the Bulgarian Olympic team.

Now the facility and its experienced coaches are helping children in the U.S.

Just ask Jenna Mulligan, who dreams of going to the Olympics. At 10 years old, she's way ahead of the game.

"I just love doing the flips and turns, and it just feels like I'm flying," she said.

Her coaches are helping her land on top.

Bulgarian coaches Valentin and Tanya Ivanov dreamed of opening a gym in the U.S.

"To give our best to our gymnasts," Valentin said. "Really the dream came true."

The Ivanovs opened Champion Gymnastics off Sunbeam Road near Philips Highway, and they teach young gymnasts discipline, respect and teamwork.

"Everybody to be together, to compete and to work together like each of them to push everybody else forward," Valentin said.

Their vision -- "one dream, one team" -- comes from 29 years of coaching experience that has led many gymnasts to the Bulgarian Olympic team.

The girls at the facility work on balance, coordination, strength and flexibility to perfect their skills.

"The right way is only one way: to teach the girls technique and body position, and it's everything to be correct," Valentin said.

It's also about enjoying the sport.

"It's just fun and it's a way of expressing yourself," Jenna said.